Gospel

In His own words Jesus tells us that He is the Son of God (Luke 22:70). The Bible further expounds on what this means when Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

In one of the best known passages of the Bible, Jesus also tells us that “For God so loved the world that He sent His one & only Son (Jesus) that whoever believes in Him might be saved” (John 3:16). So, God is telling us, here and in other verses, that Jesus is the Savior for all who believe in Him and the only way to God.

Why do I need Jesus?

The Bible (and your own eyes) makes it clear that we live in a sinful world. Murder, violence, theft, lying, gossip and more. No one is immune. Even those of us that try really hard to be “good” still make mistakes. We lie (even with the best intentions) or we fudge a little here and there with money (that’s called theft). We think really horrible thoughts (even if we don’t act on them). We’re mean, spiteful, and rude – even if only occasionally. We blaspheme God (ever use His name as a curse word?). And that’s the best of us.

The worst of us do things 1,000 times worse. Things that are in many cases flat out evil. All of those things, from the little ones to the big ones are called “sin”. Every single one of us has sinned; there is no way around that. You are a sinner. I am a sinner. The person you just talked to on the phone is a sinner. 100% guaranteed. The Bible tells us “for all have sinned”. That’s not “some” or “most.” It says “all.” (Romans 3:23)

And sadly, that’s not the end of it. Not only are we sinners but have you ever noticed that there is something in us that no matter how hard we try to be good it just seems to pull us toward things that are bad? One early Christian wrote this: “I realize I don’t have what it takes. I decide to do good but I don’t really do it. I decide not to do bad but then I do it anyway! Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me.” (Romans 7:17-20 The Message). What that person, his name is Paul by the way, was writing about was the sinful “nature” that is in each one us. The thing that no matter how much we try to be good keeps tripping us up.

Now there are two possible responses at this point. “Yes, you are right. I am thoroughly rotten and I know it. Help!” Or “Hey, I try to be a good person. I’m not that bad. I know people who are way worse”. Well, let’s just take care of that last statement first. Here’s the first and final word from the Bible: “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10) And in case that’s not clear enough: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) You’re a sinner my friend. You need help.

And all of this is because of one thing. Man, from his earliest days in the Garden of Eden, chose to disobey God and separate himself from God by sin and we’ve all kept in step with that choice. God is perfect and holy; the same way no germ can exist in a clean room, no sin can exist in His presence. God had wonderful plans for mankind and mankind chose to go its own way. The net result is all the sin and junk in the world. Your sins, my sins. The sins of that crazy guy on the news last night. “…your sins have separated you from your God. They have caused him to turn His face away from you.” (Isaiah 59:2 NIR)

Both our sins and the sinful nature that produces those sins need to be dealt with if we have any chance before a holy and perfect God.

So, how do we fix this?

Are you a sinner? Do you need help? If you can say “yes” to both of those questions, God has already provided what you need. Jesus!

Jesus came to “seek and save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) He came to bring us back into a relationship with God. He did that by taking on all our sins (past present and future – the BIG sins and the little ones too – ALL sins) and bearing them in His body when He was crucified. What exactly does that mean?

It means that God wanted to make it possible for you to have a relationship with Him. He could not do that because of your sin. So, He had to make a way for your sins to be forgiven. The way He chose (and the only way possible) was that someone had to pay for your sins. Someone had to be held responsible for all the sins man had done. And there is only one penalty for sin… Death. Romans 6:23 tells us that the “…wages of sin is death.

Knowing this, God sent his Son, Jesus into the world. Jesus came for the set purpose of making and proclaiming the way back to a relationship with God. He did that by dying for you. In his death He took on all the sins that you’ve ever committed or will commit. And He paid for them with His life. And, then, following the plan God had laid out centuries earlier, Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of God. That death paid for your sins. The resurrection confirmed all Jesus had said about Himself and made the way for Him to live in you by imparting to you His death in payment for your sins and His life so that you may live as God intends.

His Resurrection proves that He has conquered death and sin. That’s why the full verse of Romans 6:23 reads like this: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord!

How do I get this forgiveness and new life?

There is only ONE way, and again, our answer has been in the Bible all along: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Grace is a free gift given when we deserved punishment. Because of our sin, God could have justly condemned us to an eternity separate from Him in a place the Bible calls Hell. Instead, He sent Jesus, His Son, to die on the cross for us.

“… by faith” is God calling you to trust that Jesus’ death and resurrection paid the penalty for your sin. Trusting in good intentions, church attendance, or good works won’t get you anywhere. Only trust in Jesus will save you.

Jesus said it simply: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.” (John 6:47)

Trust in Jesus is what makes you a Christian, and it is the first step in becoming the kind of person God wants you to be. If you want to begin a life-changing relationship with God, you can do so right now. Express to God your gratitude to Him for sending the Lord Jesus Christ to die for you on the cross and for raising Him from the dead. Thank Him for paying the penalty for your sins. Now, thank Him for your salvation! And welcome to the family of God!

You are a CHRISTIAN! You are now one of God’s forgiven children. And… read this closely… nothing can change that.

There are two really important things I encourage you to do now. The first is tell someone that Jesus is your Savior! The second is find a Bible and start reading. I suggest you read the Gospel of John, followed by Acts then Romans (they are all in the back half of the Bible).

God richly bless and favor you as He guides you in this new life in His Son!